Anke and Eric Deibler, Pastors
Pastor Anke Deibler was born and raised in Germany. Her father is a Lutheran pastor in the northern-most state, Schleswig-Holstein. Growing up in a parsonage gave her many opportunities to be involved in parish ministry. This led to the desire to become a pastor herself. Pastor Anke studied theology at the Universities of Kiel, Heidelberg, and Munich as well as Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary (now United Lutheran Seminary). She holds a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Divinity, as well as chaplaincy certification.
During the year of study in Gettysburg, Pastor Anke met her husband Eric. They were married in 1991 and ordained together in 1994 in Pennsylvania. Since then, they have always served together as a husband-and-wife team, first in Pennsylvania and now in Maryland. Currently, they serve Zion as well as Calvary Lutheran Church in Mount Airy.
Aside from ministry, Pastor Anke loves all kinds of needlework, gardening, and making music. She also enjoys spending time with her three grown children, with family, and with friends.
Pastor Eric was born and raised in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. He attended Earlham College (Richmond, IN), where he received a BA in Theater Arts in 1987. He received his M.Div. from Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1993. While enrolled at Gettysburg, he spent two years studying at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany.
Eric and Anke (his wife and co-pastor), have always served jointly in their calls. They spent a total of sixteen years serving in central Pennsylvania before moving to Maryland in 2011, when they received a call to serve at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church (Mt. Airy, MD). In 2014, they were appointed as interim pastors at Zion Church of the City of Baltimore. They were officially called to serve at Zion in 2017.
Eric and Anke reside in Damascus, MD, where Eric indulges his passions for cooking and music and Anke keeps busy with sewing and knitting projects. They have three children, two cats, and one dog.
John Heizer, Music Director
John W. Heizer is a Graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. He was appointed Organist and Choir Director of Zion Church, in July 1974. He was also the Organist for Temple Beth Israel, York, PA for 26 years.
Other positions John has held include being the Organist for Asiamerica Ministry at Grace and St. Peter’s Church, Baltimore 1977-1982, and Organist/Choirmaster for Auxiliary High Holyday Services at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation 1979-1997.
John has performed Solo recitals in New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore and has served the Baltimore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in many areas: Executive Board, Sub-Dean, Dean, and General Chairman of the 1979 Regional III Convention.
Christy L. Luis (Vogt), Office Manager
Christy Vogt Luis has served as the Office Administrator for Zion since November of 2016. She has been a member of Zion since birth having been baptized, confirmed, and married within these walls. Christy’s grandparents emigrated from Germany and were lifelong active members of Zion. The family continues to maintain ties with family that continue to live in Germany. Christy and her husband, Larry, have three children that now continue the family relationship with our church, including a daughter that now serves on the church council.
Christy is a skilled manager that maintains all office communications, manages the several business aspects of the church including acting as the rental agent for the building and parking lot. She also skillfully oversees aspects of the church finances. She came to us with a background in business and continues to serve as an Athletic Director in the Baltimore County School System.
Barry Diggs, Sexton
Barry Diggs was born in Baltimore and graduated from Forest Park High. He served in the US Army from 1975 to 1983. Barry is responsible for Zion’s campus, as well as maintenance within the buildings.
Barry met Haixia and they were married at Zion church in 2015. They have a little girl, Aleena. Barry has been an integral part of the Zion team since 2006.
Eva Kelleher, German Language School Principal
Eva is a long-time member of Zion Church. She began teaching German at Zion in 1966. She accepted the position of principal of the German Language School in 1985. She has administered the German Language School energetically and developed the instructional program to serve the needs of many different people in the community. In recent years the enrollment of this Saturday school has reached and at times exceeded 100 students. Approximately half of these students are adults.
Eva has also served on the Board of the German Society of Maryland as President of the Women’s Auxiliary and has served Zion as a member of the Church Council. She taught for 10 years for the Berlitz School. She currently teaches a German language course at the Baltimore Kickers Club of Baltimore. Eva also teaches elementary, intermediate and advanced adult education courses at the Community College of Baltimore County.
For information about the school, including registration forms, see German Language School.